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Old 01-13-2013, 09:52 AM   #27
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5,434

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt View Post
It's the opposite - why do you think the NFL recruits based almost exclusively on stats such as 40 yard dash, max squat, max deadlift, 225 bench press test and vertical jump height?

It's because they know that these qualities are the most important aspects of any sport. Select athletes that are good at these, and the rest will follow. Skills, tactics and vision are secondary and can always be developed later.
Actually, you didn't list the NFL tests that are most relevant to tennis: The first ten yard split of the 40 yard dash, the three cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle. All three test short-distance speed and change of direction ability. Vertical jump is probably the best single indicator of lower-body explosive power, so that is a good one. The best performers in these four tests in the NFL are cornerbacks, and I believe that someday we'll see an athlete that could have been a top NFL cornerback choose tennis instead, and he will transform the sport. These guys have explosiveness, speed and agility that has never been seen on a tennis court.

You're right that Tomic is nowhere near that class of athlete. But neither was John McEnroe. Speed and power are important but the gifts of touch, anticipation and court craft are even more important in tennis.

(Squat, deadlift and bench press would not be good tests for tennis athleticism as very high scores in those tests would indicate excess muscles mass which would make a player less efficient over a long match.)
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